Bangalore: From an international cricketer to chairman of selectors, Brijesh Parashuram Patel of Karnataka has indeed traversed a wide spectrum in his cricketing career. A successful cricket administrator, director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and founder of the one the top most cricket coaching clinics for youngsters in the city, Brijesh has been at the helm of cricket affairs. As secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), he has delved deep into matters of cricket administration too.
Thatscricket.com spoke to Brijesh on his recent elevation as the chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India's selection committee. His first major task would be to select the Indian team for the "We would like to rotate the players in the forthcoming series against West Indies (at home) and New Zealand (away) to keep the senior players fresh for the World Cup," he said in the exclusive interview. Excerpts:
As chairman of selectors are you going to emphasise more on the fitness aspect of players?
Indian players don't lack in talent. But, fitness indeed was problem especially when in came to playing back-to-back matches in tough conditions or when it comes to running between the wickets. In the last nine months, however, the Indians have shown a vast improvement. With coach John Wright, physio Andrew Leipus and now trainer Adrian le Roux emphasising on it, the physical fitness is much better and this has reflected on the improved performance of the team. Even in the NCA, we have made sure that physical fitness is given top priority. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also now decided to ensure that each state has a physio at every level of the game. So this concept of importance and adherence to physical fitness has percolated down wards to the grass root level and the fitness regimen has really improved.
Will top players like Sachin, Dravid be rested during the West Indies series?
I'll have to first talk to John (Wright), Andrew (Leipus) and Adrian (le Roux) to find out which players require rest. It is possible that some of the players may be suffering from niggling injuries and it would be ideal to give them some healing time ahead of the World Cup. Depending on the status of the series, we may decide to give the senior players some rest and include promising juniors in the two series (West Indies at home and away at New Zealand).
Will Rahul Dravid continue as wicket-keeper in One-dayers?
Rahul has worked out well as a wicket-keeper in the One-day games. Until we get a wicket-keeper/ batsman like Adam Gilchrist, we may have to continue with such experiments. In fact, it has been a positive development as Rahul donning the gloves has lent a lot of depth to the One-day batting line-up.
In retrospect do you think it was a bad idea to recall Srinath for the Champions Trophy final?
It was not a bad decision. The team management wanted the best team as the wicket was green and we gave them the best team including Javagal Srinath. Anyone can have a bad game on a given day. Even Ajit Agarkar bowled and got whacked in the match.
Will Srinath now be considered for ODIs?
Yes, if he keeps performing we will definitely consider him for One-dayers.
Have you personally influenced Srinath in wanting to play Test matches again?
No, I don't think so. It is his frame of mind. I only sounded out the possiblity to him and he said he was now in a frame of mind to play Test matches. He said, he now feels okay about playing in Test matches.